From the moment it was announced that she had decided to turn professional under the stewardship of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sports in late 2016, there has been constant chatter about when Katie Taylor’s homecoming bout might be.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist’s debut in the paid ranks took place at the Wembley Arena in London last November, and all but one of her six subsequent fights – a bout with Jasmine Clarkson in Brooklyn during the summer – took place in the U.K.
At a press conference in late October, however, Hearn said that the team were targeting March or April for the 31-year-old Irish fighter’s homecoming, with Dublin’s 3Arena and the RDS the two most likely venues. The promoter also revealed that they had their sights set on a unification bout.
Thankfully, those plans haven’t changed in the month and a half since, as plans often do in the world of boxing.
“She’s had a wonderful year,” Hearn told RTÉ on Tuesday. “And I think probably March/April time in Dublin in a unification fight – to try and unify the division – that’s the plan, that’s the aim. So, get through Wednesday and I think the homecoming in Dublin is on for 2018.”
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 13, 2017
Currently, the other titleholders in the division are Argentina’s Victoria Noelia Bustos and Yohana Belen Alfonzo, and Belgium’s Delfine Persoon. The latter, Persoon, is generally recognized as the division’s number one.
(You can read more about the three champions here.)
But before she can start thinking about these match-ups, as Hearn noted, Taylor must come through a tough challenge tonight. The Bray boxer makes the first defence of the WBA lightweight title that she ripped from tough Argentine Anahi Esther Sanchez in October against confident, hard-hitting American Jessica McCaskill at the famed York Hall at London’s Bethnall Green.
The 33-year-old McCaskill, a native of Chicago, is 5-1 as a professional, with three stoppages on her resume. She talks a big game, but has never faced anybody of Taylor’s calibre and will be fighting outside her homeland for the first time in her pro career.